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4 thoughts on “Accommodating Design: minimal, warm, and perfect.”

    1. The beauty of minimalism is that it forces you to distinguish between needs and wants. That the stuff you own is simply that; stuff. Most possessions only feed an undying urge to buy more and more.

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  • Art at Kanaal finds its way into relatively untouched industrial spaces. Throughout his career, Axel Vervoordt has applied the Japanese principle of wabi – the beauty in natural imperfection and the transformational effect of time. But for Vervoordt, wabi is far from a mere motif or aesthetic style. It is rather a flexible attitude that has allowed his utopian vision to mature. “Many things in this project just happened,” says architect Tatsuro Miki, who designed Kanaal’s new art buildings. “There was no masterplan to begin with, and the site still has the potential to change radically.

Only the Beginning. From the archive, Cereal Volume 15, 2018.

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  • Axel Vervoordt describes collecting as a lifelong pilgrimage – some of his pieces have been in his collection for over 40 years. He observes that the privilege of acquiring them only makes sense if he can share them with others. “I don’t want to follow any rules, other than just purely what I feel,” he says. “Curating is a very personal and intimate thing for me.” Kanaal, his arts and residential project in a 19th century malting distillery near Antwerp, reflects this thinking: it is a humble endeavour, conceived and executed not as an investment, but rather as a gift, or legacy.

Only the Beginning. From the archive, Cereal Volume 15, 2018.

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  • In Brown and Fels’s curation, one detects a wariness of the modern tendency to hurry and seek superficial distraction; their intention is to both meet and challenge modern expectations. The decision to open the house to guests came naturally as the project unfolded. “Nothing was forced and nothing was rushed,” Fels explains. “We had been booking friends, clients, and designers into hotels for years, so perhaps, subconsciously, we were responding to their needs and desires.” From the archive, Cereal Volume 13, 2017.

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  • A collection of Viennese crystal by Lobmeyr catches the daylight from the ground floor window at New Road Residence. The project gives founders James Brown and Christie Fels an opportunity to articulate their stance on design, and collaborate with friends and brands in a unique way.

From the archive, Cereal Volume 13, 2017.

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  • Inside a beautifully restored 1797 townhouse, James Brown and Christie Fels, of Blue Mountain School, have created a quiet, considered retreat. The three-bedroom, four-storey house in Whitechapel’s Myrdle Street conservation area serves as a guest residence with no minimum stay. Fels and Brown consider themselves the latest in a succession of loving guardians, and in deference to their predecessors, made as few interventions to the property as possible when creating New Road Residence. The interiors honour the building’s Georgian bones, while a modern philosophy of living lightens the feel of the spaces. 
A visit to New Road Residence, from the archive, Cereal Volume 13, 2017. 
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  • Astrology is a methodology with the goal of understanding others and ourselves at its heart; its inferences by no means reflect the full spectrum of a person’s character, but they can suggest ways to form closer relationships with others. They provide an entryway for self-reflection and suggest how we may need or want to be nurtured. And, if we are willing, they can cast a light on how we can grow as human beings.

A Study of Movements, from Cereal Volume 18, 2019.

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